The artist was born in the Millville area of Woodford County, Kentucky, raised in neighboring Franklin County and lived in Georgetown, Scott County. He showed talent at an early age and was encouraged to become an artist; he is often described as self-taught. Hunleigh worked as a portrait painter in Lexington and settled in Georgetown in the 1890s. He was a contemporary of Paul Sawyier; both men loved painting the Elkhorn. Hunleigh traveled in his later years and left behind numerous paintings of New England, Western and Florida scenes.
The Georgetown & Scott County Museum put on a Hunleigh retrospective in 2008 and produced an excellent catalog of the show.
The artist’s last name is sometimes spelled Hundleigh.